Thee are three matches this Saturday.
Play starts at 13:00 with the 2nds taking on the Royal Engineers.
Then at 14:30 the 3rds fresh from their semi final victory last week, will take on Sawston.
The final match sees the Blood and Sand entertain Esher kicking off at 15:00.
We are offering free entry to all military personal and veterans who arrive for the 2nds match and show ID or a veterans badge.
The Under 13s will once again attempt to organise a car wash to raise funds for their tour to Treviso.
The boys will be ready to start at 11:30 and will be accepting donations, we are suggesting at least £5 per car but please give as much as you can.
The team and coaches would like to thank:
for sponsoring the tour. Without them it would not be possible to take the boys on a trip that will mean so much to them and create a life memory.
The Sappers have a long history, from the 14th century the Keeper of the Privy Wardrobe at the Tower of London had responsibility to provide the King's forces with gunpowder. As artillery became commonplace the role was transferred to a Board of Ordnance , who also took over maintenance of fortifications. In 1716 the Board founded the Royal Artillery and a Corp of Engineers at its base at the Arsenal at Woolwich. Originally consisting purely of commissioned officers - with civilian labour - but during the Great Siege of Gibraltar a Soldier Artificer company was set up to dig the first of its military tunnels. It is said that Gibraltar has more miles of tunnel than surface road. After the Crimean War and the problems with logistics, the Board of Ordnance was abolished and Engineers and Artillery brought into the Army and moved from Woolwich to Chatham. Although the Corps has no battle honours its motto Uibque represents its involvement in all conflicts.
The Engineers have always been keen on sport, providing two of the England XX for the first international, Lts Sherrard and Crompton - though they are usually credited to their club Blackheath. Henry Renny-Tailyour played for the Engineers in the first FA Cup final and for Scotland in the unofficial international of 1871 and the first official match in 1873,scoring Scotland's first goal. More importantly he also played the 1872 Rugby international. All those matches were held at the Oval. He remains the only man to have represented Scotland in both codes.
Esher's position on the Thames, just upstream of London means that it has long connections with royalty. When we visited I told you about the country house called Claremont. While this was the haunt of Royalty, the Church lived at Esher Place. In the thirteenth century., Peter de Roches was a powerful noble in Touraine in the Loire valley. England has suffered the Anarchy. Mathilda Lady of the English was at war with her cousin Stephen in a war perhaps only now remembered by readers of Brother Cadfael books. The result was that Stephen reigned, but made Mathilda's son Henry II his heir. Most of Henry's lands were in France, so in his rule and that of his sons, Richard and John many of the top jobs went to Frenchmen. England was if anything the lesser part of the Empire. Peter was made Lord Chamberlain by Richard the Lionheart and Bishop of Winchester by John. Winchester is too far from power, so Peter built a palace at Esher Place.
The Bishop's of Winchester retained control of the Bishopric. In the 15th Century William Waynfleet, also Lord Chancellor, replaced Peter's building with an ornate Tudor mansion. In the time of Henry VIII. Cardinal Wolsey, who was already Archbishop of York, Papal Legate and Lord Chancellor was appointed Bishop of Winchester in 1529 at the zenith of his power. Alas he failed in his mission to obtain an annulment for the King - perhaps the only man in the country more powerful than him and that was his downfall. He was kept in house arrest in Esher and the King seized the land. Mary, restored it to the Church. Elizabeth gave it to her Admiral Lord Howard of Effingham, who gave it to his agent Richard Drake - a cousin to Francis. It was used to detain several of the Spanish Admirals.
In he 1720s it belongs to Henry Pelham, brother to the Duke of Newcastle. He rebuilt all but the gatehouse in the modern style. Eighty years later, London merchant Francis Spicer did the same. The final rebuild was by Edgar Vincent Viscount D'Arbenon. He had been Governor of the Imperial Ottoman Bank. He survived financial scandal - a financial bubble in South African mine shares - and revolution - Armenian separatists took over the bank and he escaped though a sky light. He returned to England and was elected to Parliament as a Conservative but swept away by the 1906 Liberal landslide. Like many free trade Tories, including Winston Churchill, he crossed the floor to join the Liberals and was raised to the peerage by Asquith. The First War swept away those landed classes and the building was sold to the Ragged School Union and then to the Electrical Trades Union - which through a number of mergers is now Unite. But the gatehouse Wainfleet's tower still stands.
Cambridge fist played Esher in the season they were relegated from National 1 when it was reduced from 16 to 12 teams to form the Championship. Esher as the highest placed side to face the drop received compensation from the RFU for the unexpected relegation. That enabled them to keep their professional side together and they earned promotion at the first attempt - scoring a record 200 tries in a season. Though that is under threat from Hartpury. They did not stay up long being relegated again in 2012 - our last season in National 1. They lost out to Ealing that season and have been at level three ever since.
Currently they sit one place below Cambridge also on seven wins - but no draws. We have four more try bonus points so we are 5 points ahead. The game at Hersham Rd was an open running affair. We lost by five tries to four. Jack Green who had kicked his first five attempts had a difficult conversion kick to get the losing bonus point but could not split the posts, so we left with just the one point. We need to turn that around at home and claim the win. It will be a tough game - we need to be on our mettle. If we play well, we will take all the points, but if we give them an inch hey may well take a mile.
Do come down to Volac Park and roar the boys home.